Skip to main content

Posts

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in November 2017, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As…

State "mitigation matrix" reveals quarterly project monitoring, but could use more transparency; details 215 construction workers, two-year contract for school buildout, misleading number of affordable units

Given the tight fit of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, a 22-acre site nudging into an existing community, the margin for error is small. Neighbors regularly express concern about incursions from construction or arena operations, even as state overseers point out that the project is monitored more than most.

That--and the oversight under questions--should be a topic at tonight's bi-monthly Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting, at 6 pm, at 55 Hanson Place. And one issue may be the need to regularly make public a quarterly document that details the project's compliance with environmental commitments.

(The obligations are listed in a 2014 Second Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, issued by Empire State Development, or ESD, the state authority that oversees and shepherds the project.)

Discussion at the AY CDC: need for transparency

At the 1/17/18 meeting of the advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), departing board member Jaime Stein, who…

In 2018, keep watch on not just B4 tower plan but also 615 Dean (no longer condos?)

A post 1/16/18 on the pro-development blog New York YIMBY, accompanying a new rendering of the fully built-out Pacific Park project and highlighting the giant tower planned for Site 5, declared that "all of the structures are within the allowable existing scope of the site."

Not so.

Unwitting readers of New York YIMBY might think developer Greenland Forest City Partners--to be owned 95% by Greenland USA going forward--could just build when it's got the money (and, in the case of Site 5, when legal challenges from P.C. Richard that delay condemnation are resolved). But building a giant project at Site 5, potentially two towers and 785 feet, requires Empire State Development to approve a shift in bulk from the unbuilt office tower (B1, aka "Miss Brooklyn") over the arena plaza.

And that process hasn't begun. (Both I and resident Peter Krashes posted comments to that effect, which were published, yet the post wasn't corrected.)
In 2018, beyond as-of-right:…

The next Quality of Life meeting is tomorrow

A message from Empire State Development about the bi-monthly meeting where attendees can learn updates about the project (including, perhaps this time, the new ownership and fuzzy timline):
The next Quality of Life Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 23. Please feel free to send Project-related questions, concerns, or suggested agenda items for the meeting to atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov.

Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6 pm  Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Yes, Forest City was behind that "Sweet Polly in Pacific Park" press release

I was confounded last July when the food website Eater, reporting on a new Hungry Ghost coffee location, described Sweet Polly as in “the new Pacific Park neighborhood in Brooklyn.”
I suspected that, since the new location was in Forest City New York's 80 DeKalb tower, that the press release came from Forest City, eager to promote its Prospect Heights project as "Pacific Park."

I've since found proof, and it's more bizarre, since Forest City was claiming that 80 DeKalb, a good 12-minute walk from the Barclays Center, was itself in "the evolving Pacific Park neighborhood."

Here's the press release, posted on the Coffee Talk web site 8/4/17. with emphasis added in bold:
Hungry Ghost Coffee Bar & Café to Open Fifth Location
BROOKLYN, NY (July 13, 2017) – Forest City New York today announced Hungry Ghost will open its fifth coffee bar & café at 80 DeKalb. Hungry Ghost opened its first location in Prospect Heights in 2012 and now operates four co…

Pacific Park’s murky future: deal's taken a year; progress pledged on affordable units & huge tower, but no finish date or affordability details

So we know that Forest City Realty Trust (FCRT) and Greenland USA will restructure their 2014 joint venture to build Pacific Park, with Greenland taking all but 5% of Forest City's 30% share going forward. And that Forest City New York CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin is starting a new firm with some key colleagues.

A key detail didn't surface until January 17: the deal has been cooking for a year, said Marion Phillips III, an executive at Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project, speaking at a meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC).

That suggests that Gilmartin, aware that Forest City was pulling back on new development and this troubled, signature project, had time to formulate an exit, and bring a service contract to manage Forest City's Pacific Park stake to her new firm, L&L MAG.

Despite a promise to restart construction and a striking new image of the project portrayed in full buildout, Pacific…

In wake of Pacific Park restructuring, Forest City lays off 20 people in Brooklyn (third round of layoffs)

The departure of CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and some key aides does not represent the only departures from Forest City New York's office. The downsizing continues, with a layoff of some 20 staffers, which signals continued belt-tightening and a diminishment of corporate capacity.

That represents, by my count, the third round of layoffs. The Real Deal reported 7/29/16, "FCR now has about 110 full-time employees, 23 fewer than it did last year, the company said."

On 7/23/17, I reported that Forest City New York laid off about 15 people--a figure neither confirmed nor denied by the company. The loss of 20 more people, plus the five executives leaving, would bring the count below 70.

Today, after being told of the layoffs by a source, I queried the corporate headquarters and got the following confirmation from Forest City Realty Trust Senior VP Jeff Linton:
Approximately 20 people in the Brooklyn office were notified that their positions are being eliminated. Some are effective…

Progress: Barclays Center to resume policy of announcing non-ticketed events in monthly calendar circulated to residents

The Barclays Center will return to a small but important practice of transparency, announcing non-ticketed events on the monthly calendar circulated to community residents, it was announced yesterday.

That longstanding practice of alerting residents of events--including graduations and other gatherings--that may be disruptive was abandoned after May 2016, with an arena representative rather dubiously claiming that it was for security reasons.

The policy change was announced at the meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), by Tobi Jaiyesimi, the corporation's executive director (and the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project director for Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project).

She announced it in the course of a report to the AY CDC on the quarterly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meetings, where questions about and criticisms of the arena's policy have been regularly raised. After all, if resid…